Five Ways to Optimize your Online Display Campaign

In the world of advertising, we are always striving to improve our campaigns.  With traditional marketing, we rely on post-campaign surveys, inbound leads, custom phone numbers and promotional codes to help determine the ROI of a campaign. However, in the world of digital marketing, we rely on direct campaign metrics to determine the success of the campaign.

It is important to optimize your ongoing campaign using online metrics.  This optimization can result in a stronger click-through or conversion (depending upon on the key performance indicator you are utilizing for the campaign), and generate a greater value for each ad dollar spent.  How do you optimize a campaign?  Here at MANSI we look at several methods to enhance each of the digital campaigns we place for our clients.  These methods range from simple to complex, but all can result in a much more effective campaign.


Ad Unit

Option One – Optimize By Ad Unit

One of the simplest methods, optimizing by ad unit, can still yield very strong results.  To optimize in this fashion, we review a campaign’s traffic report broken out by the ad units being utilized. We look at the Click Through Rate (CTR) to provide a fair site-to-site, unit-to-unit comparison.    Those units that are not reaching a benchmark CTR have impressions pulled from them and shifted to units that are providing a higher CTR.

This method works best when a variety of ad units are being deployed and a blended CPM is used between the ad units.

 Media types include desktop banner, mobile banner and video pre-roll.  

Option Two - Optimize by Media Type

Campaigns rarely utilize a single media type to reach their audience.  On a single site, we  often use  a multi-media approach that encapsulates desktop banner, mobile banner and video pre-roll.   Each of these units performs at a different level and often comes at a different cost.  To help place these different media types on equal footing, it is best to utilize a cost per click (CPC) or a cost per acquisition (CPA) model.  Either a CPC or a CPA will offer a true example of the media performance and allow for the shifting of campaign resources to the higher performing option.

This method works best when a variety of media are deployed through the same site.


Option Three – Optimize by Drilling Deeper

Each campaign will have the basic parameters of flight and location, but we can break down those options into deeper substrata to improve optimization:

  • Time of day
  • Day of the week
  • Location by zip code

The campaign flight generally covers a set period of time, but that timing can be further broken down by performance to help optimize the campaign.  For example, a traffic report can be viewed by the time of day that is driving the highest response (CTR).  In those situations, the campaign can be day-parted to focus on those highest performing timeframes.  Also, reports can be generated to see which days of the week generate a high response rate.  Again, the campaign can be optimized to run primarily on those high-performing days.

Many campaigns are targeted to a DMA, region or state.  With these campaigns, reporting can showcase which of the sub-areas is providing the highest response rate.  For example, a campaign targeted to the Chicago DMA might show a high response from the Chinatown district (60616 and 60608 zip codes).  To optimize the campaign, more impressions can be shifted to this targeted area to improve the reach to potential customers eager to engage.

This method works best when a campaign starts with a wide geographic net (DMA, region or state) and a longer running time frame (3 to 6 months).

 Copy can be modified.


Option Four – Optimize by Copy

Different creative elements or messaging can directly impact the performance of a campaign.   This impact can be easily seen when reviewing the reporting of an online display campaign.  Much like optimizing by ad unit, it is a straightforward examination of CTR by copy to determine which units are performing the best.  With this baseline established, impressions can be shifted to higher performing copies on a site-by-site basis.

This method only works when two or more copy versions are being deployed.



Option Five – Optimize by Target

In the last five years, we have come a long way in the world of targeting.  In the digital world we can drill down and target our customers by demographics, behaviors and the content of the page they are reading. We will often deploy multiple targets on the same campaign, combining different elements to reach the target audience (ex. targeting men 35+ OR sports content).  When utilizing different targeting options, the campaign can be improved through a thorough look at the reporting and the actions taken upon those results.  Using the example above, we might see results that showcase a higher response rate from the campaign messages targeted to sports content.  If that is the case, then the campaign can be weighted to reach more users through that targeting option to improve the overall performance.

This method works best when multiple targets are deployed on the same campaign.


We now have more data available to us than ever before, but how we use that data is what will impact our campaigns. At MANSI, we firmly believe that every campaign can be enhanced by the judicious use of optimization.

Let us help you improve your next online campaign.

Free Market Analysis

See what MANSI can do for you. Enter your information below to receive a free market analysis to help with your newspaper placement needs.